And The Stars, And the Earth
The ‘Dekapolis’ or ‘Ten Cities’ of the former Grand Principality of the Angel Water were once a united league of friendly merchant-republics. Without the steadying hand of a Grand Prince, however, this squabbling collection of city-states seems doomed to perpetual piracy, subterfuge, and internecine warfare.
The Ten Cities:
Seltzbronn, City of Salt: One of the wealthiest of the ten cities, due to its vast brine swamps and salt mines. Seltzbronn is famed for its crack mercenary troops, especially the Lord Mayor’s elite unit of crossbowmen, the White Fletches.
Rosheim, City of Perfume: More than just fragrances, Rosheim is a center for alchemical innovations and fine glassblowing. Its Lady-Mayor, Oleanna I, is famed as among the most skilled diplomats and allegiance-brokers of the Great Bay. It is the smallest of the Dekapolis.
var Celsus, City of the Arcane: Positioned on a small archipelago of islands near the westernmost bight of the Bay, this was at one time the most advanced center of magical learning in the known world. Its prestige has diminished somewhat, but it remains a locus for arcane research, and its battle-mages are the most feared of any Dekapolitan fleet.
Fiume, the Arsenal: Built on a large island situated across a strait from a vast forest, Fiume produces the finest ships of the Dekapolis. Its navy is the single strongest of the Ten, which often leads the smaller city-states to join in temporary alliances against it.
Cant-Town, City of Whispers: Built along a coastline full of hidden coves and misty beaches, Cant-Town is widely cursed as the Republic of Thieves. Many famous pirates, smugglers, and spies grew up on the foggy boardwalks here, and the other Lords of the Ten Cities quake in fear of the Thief-King’s prized assassins, the Mournful Eight.
Zwingli, the Black City: Not quite so sinister as its name would appear, Zwingli is so named for the very puritanical religious zeal that is popular among its people. These believers, called Elect, dress in plain clothing and live by rigorous religious codes. Zwingli is ruled by a Priest-Elector, not a Mayor. It is the most populous of the Dekapolis.
Cyperus, City of Scholars: Built on a high cliff rising above a rocky coastline, the City of Scholars boasts some of the last functioning universities in the known world, and boasts the only scientific Academy of Oceanic and Natural Philosophy in creation. Many of the finest navigators, admirals, natural philosophers and physicians studied here.
Castamallera, City of Towers: So-named for its impressive fortifications, this Island-Republic is ruled by an order of Knights, the Brotherhood of the Deep, who in turn answer to the Grandmaster. It has a well-drilled army, and its contingents of marines are especially feared.
Marck, City of Steel: Blessed with rich veins of ore running under the red mountain which dominates the city skyline, Marck produces the finest metalworkers in the realm. It is famous for its war machines and engineers.
Picardia, the Belle: Fair Picardia is the home of song, wine, and luxury. With vast agricultural holdings on the mainland, this city is considered by its refined inhabitants to be an outpost of the Good Life in a league too often defined by vulgar commercialism and dour religiosity. Many famous bards got their first breaks singing for their supper on Brandywine Lane or the Street of Silks.